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We use dense redshift surveys of nine galaxy clusters at z ~ 0.2 to compare the galaxy distribution in each system with the projected matter distribution from weak lensing. By combining 2087 new MMT/Hectospec redshifts and the data in the literature, we construct spectroscopic samples within the region of weak-lensing maps of high (70%-89%) and uniform completeness. With these dense redshift surveys, we construct galaxy number density maps using several galaxy subsamples. The shape of the main cluster concentration in the weak-lensing maps is similar to the global morphology of the number density maps based on cluster members alone, mainly dominated by red members. We cross-correlate the galaxy number density maps with the weak-lensing maps. The cross-correlation signal when we include foreground and background galaxies at 0.5z cl < z < 2z cl is 10%-23% larger than for cluster members alone at the cluster virial radius. The excess can be as high as 30% depending on the cluster. Cross-correlating the galaxy number density and weak-lensing maps suggests that superimposed structures close to the cluster in redshift space contribute more significantly to the excess cross-correlation signal than unrelated large-scale structure along the line of sight. Interestingly, the weak-lensing mass profiles are not well constrained for the clusters with the largest cross-correlation signal excesses (>20% for A383, A689, and A750). The fractional excess in the cross-correlation signal including foreground and background structures could be a useful proxy for assessing the reliability of weak-lensing cluster mass estimates.

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The Astrophysical Journal





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